Why Now May Not Be the Best Time to Check Your 401k

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The coronavirus has put over 16 million Americans out of work. 

So, what should Americans do with their 401ks now? What about their finances in general?

Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest, joined TheStreet to weigh in on how she's advising all of her clients.

Watch the video above for more.

And watch the full interview with Krawcheck here: How to Handle Market Volatility, Manage Personal Finances During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Video Transcript:

One thing that I've noticed is that Ellevest has been very good about having financial advisors and other people come on to the Instagram Live to talk you through your finances. So, for you Sallie, what are you advising clients to do during this economic downturn?

So, first of all, we have committed to our community of El-raisers, as we call them, to answer every single money question they've got personally. So they can ask us a question in the DMs on Instagram. They can email us questions at ellevest.com. We personally answer them. We then take the questions and anonymize them and answer them in an article that we've got just running on our website, on our magazine page at Ellevest, and we're doing, as you mentioned, some days it's three o'clock, some days it's 12:30. But we've got out there, we're doing tons of Instagram Lives and answering again all those questions personally. And, looks, let the advice is different for everybody. I'd say the question we tend to get, the top two questions we get is around the markets. Should I buy or should I sell? And sometimes they're flipped and sometimes it's should I sell or should I buy?

But there's almost, we see it again and again, always questions around, what should I do right now? And for most folks, again, if you've got the job, if you're covering your expenses, you have an emergency fund, the answer often is don't do anything. You are not a professional investor. The chances that you will see something that the thousands and thousands and hundreds of thousands, millions of professional investors making millions of investing decisions that you will have some insight as to whether to buy or sell that they don't have and hasn't already been priced out of the market is pretty incredibly slim. It may happen because you're lucky, but this, should I buy small caps now? Should I do something with Bitcoin? For individual investors, you just don't have all the information you need.

Frankly, you could argue most people don't and so don't go play that big boys game right now because you tend to be on the losing end, particularly by the way, when you do it from a place of emotion, when you do it from a place of nervousness, when you do it from a place of a fear. That is just going to end badly. So don't look. I tell everybody, if you're able to not look at your 401k, if you're able to not look at your brokerage account, do yourself a favor and do not look.

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